The Incomparable King
Jesus is a King like no other. What other king do you know that would come riding in on a donkey?
Morning. David Sorn. Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
Well, for the past month and a half, we’ve been talking almost exclusively about our future.
6 Weeks ago today, we made the big announcement that we are desiring to purchase land, so we could…3 years from now…raise money to put a building on it, and be able to reach even more people for Christ in the future.
Because we know that based on our growth, in just 3.5 or 4 years, we are out of room here at Northpoint Elementary.
So, we laid out plans to attempt to raise $500,000 in 3-year commitments, so we could purchase a piece of land.
And let me tell you, as many of you know, I’m a numbers guy.
And about 3 weeks ago, I had run the numbers 100 times.
I knew what had come in from our leaders…I knew how many people are in this church…and I came to one conclusion:
It’s not possible.
I’m not lying to you. You can ask my wife or our staff.
I told them all, the only way this is even possible is if God just REALLY moves…and moves in a lot of people’s hearts.
Based on average giving…projections, etc…it’s not possible.
And yet, 2 weeks ago, I witnessed one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen as a pastor.
2 Weeks ago…on commitment Sunday…We had people stand up and bring their pledges to the front of the room.
And I swear to you, everyone got up.
My wife and I just looked at each other…like, “Where are all of these people coming from?!”
I want you to do something for me… Would you stand up right now? Let’s stand up together.
Listen, Renovation Church…GOD MOVED. And we’re going to praise Him for it!
Our total pledged number is $598,750!!
(Put up PLEDGE NUMBER slide)
Let’s give a standing ovation to our God!! And thank Him!
I’ve been doing some sort of ministry in some capacity for the past 14 years, and I can honestly tell you this is the biggest move of God I’ve ever seen.
In so many other things, I could always say, “yeah, but I could see how that could have happened.”
This has just left me speechless.
If you haven’t pledged yet, you still can be a part of this.
Where we’re at right now ($598,750), is always just a “so far”
We’ll continue to receive commitments for the next 3 years.
We want people to continue to be a part of saving lives with us.
You can always grab a commitment card from the hallway and drop it in the offering or pledge online at AmplifyRenovation.org.
Maybe you’ll be the one to help put us over $600,000 J
The fact that we pledged over our goal is a beautiful thing.
It’ll allow us to either get a better piece of land, or more than likely, allow us to take an even smaller loan and not have as much debt as we start this amazing journey.
Which is HUGE!.
God obviously had bigger plans than we thought
Our leaders are so grateful to you and your sacrifice!
And we are in awe of what God did through you!
Our land search team is continuing to work hard on the next step of securing land, and we are committed to keeping you updated to that process.
Thanks again for your faith in God and this vision!
HE’S THE DIVINE KING
Let’s get into today’s message.
We are going to be rejoining a series that we’ve been doing on and off this year called “The Kingdom”
Every year at Renovation, we take one book of the Bible, and study it verse-by-verse.
This year we’ve been studying Matthew, which is one of the 4 stories about Jesus.
Matthew is a massive book, so we’ve been getting through about 40-50% of it as we go.
We’ve already done 10 messages on it, and we’re going to close it out with 4 more.
We’ve called this series “The Kingdom” because Jesus speaks so often in Matthew about what HIS Kingdom is like.
What life should be like if Jesus is the King of your life.
And today, we’re going to get a neat picture of what kind of king JESUS is
And I want to show you 4 descriptors of what kind of King He indeed is.
As we finish up Matthew’s Gospel this next month by studying the last week of Jesus’ life, it’s going to feel a little Easter-y around here this Christmas.
That’s okay though. Jesus didn’t come just to be a feel good baby or bring us Santa. He came to die on the cross.
We’re going to be in Matthew chapter 21 today, which begins the last week of Jesus’ life.
It’s what some churches call “holy week”
It’s a period of 8 days beginning with Jesus entering Jerusalem.
It includes the last supper, his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection.
Interestingly enough, almost 30% of Matthew’s Gospel is about the last 8 days of Jesus’ life.
8 out of 28 chapters.
Let’s take a look at our passage for today.
(Matthew 21:1-11) – NIV
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
There are a lot of neat things in this passage.
And we can’t just jump right to meaning.
We have to notice a few things first.
For one…I want to point out that Jesus is, for the first time, being incredibly open about being King.
It’s not that he’s hidden it before, but he’s not exactly always very public about it.
One of the most common questions I get about Bible passages revolves around the many passages where Jesus says, “And don’t tell anyone who I am!”
And one of the main explanations for his reasoning is simply this: As soon as everyone really understands who He is…that He’s the messiah, the Son of God…start the clock…His days are numbered.
They’re going to kill him.
And what you’re going to see today is that He’s going to very publically acknowledge being THE King…
And yep, start the clock; he’ll be dead in 5 days. 5 days!
The first descriptor I want you to notice about his Kingship is that Jesus is a DIVINE KING
(Put up words “DIVINE KING” on the screen)
This is not just another earthly king; this is God’s Son.
This is the Lord of Lord’s.
And you can see it even in this story.
If you’re familiar with this story, I think a lot of us think of it incorrectly.
I tend to think of it more like, “Jesus is walking along…happens to get on a donkey…and all of a sudden there is a crowd there…worshipping him. Wow. How amazing!
But that’s not it at all.
Jesus is the one that actually orchestrates and arranges this triumphal entry.
It didn’t just happen to him. He planned it.
He divinely ordains that a donkey and her colt be at a certain spot.
He divinely ordains that the owner will be just fine giving them up.
And He has perfectly timed the date of this event.
He has just done a massive miracle in very nearby Bethany…
He raised Lazarus from the dead with a TON of witnesses.
The crowds are growing…and they’re following Him.
In fact, look again at verses 9-10
(Matthew 21:9-10) – NIV
9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowd is actually coming in ALONG WITH him.
When he enters Jerusalem, it’s the people of Jerusalem that say, “WHO IS THIS?!”
Jesus has timed perfectly his miracles with his arrival into the most important city for the most important week of history.
Think about this too…
Verse 8 says that A VERY LARGE crowd was there
That’s because it was the beginning of the Passover week.
A required pilgrimage for Jews.
In fact, the city of Jerusalem, would swell often 5 to 6 times its normal size during this week.
John even points this out in his first verse describing Jesus’ triumphal entry::
(John 12:12) – NIV
The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.
You don’t think Jesus planned this?
Of course He did.
He’s the DIVING King.
And you have to know that this is the same Jesus today.
He’s the divine king…orchestrating and arranging all things.
He picked the exact moment in history for His entry into Jerusalem on that last week…
And in the same way, he’s orchestrated you being here today.
He’s in control of your life.
This King is so amazing…so divine…that handling 7 billion lives…7 billion storylines at once…is not too complicated for Him.
He’s the divine King.
And if your life feels like it’s spinning out of control…
Surrender to the King.
He’s in control of all things.
And I feel like that’s a lesson I learned more deeply in the past two weeks through Amplify.
Even when it doesn’t seem mathematically possible…
God is in control of all things.
It’s not “too hard” for Him.
He’s the divine King.
HE’S THE SERVANT KING
But Jesus isn’t just the divine king…he’s the servant king
(Put up SERVANT KING on screen)
Let me explain:
Verses 4 and 5 in our passage say that the fact that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey is actually fulfilling a prophecy that he’s the Messiah.
What is that all about?
Well, Matthew is actually quoting a prophecy from the prophet Zechariah, who wrote about 500 years before Jesus.
Let me read you the prophecy Matthew is quoting from in the Old Testament:
(Zechariah 9:9-10) – NIV
9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
So the Jews had an ancient, 500-year old prophecy that one day the Messiah would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.
And what does Jesus do? He rides in a donkey!
But what kind of King rides in on a donkey?! A donkey!
It’s all contextual of course, but in those days, any conquering king riding into town, is going to ride in on a magnificent war-horse…not a donkey.
Most kings would ride into town with much pageantry and fanfare…
With heralds proclaiming their arrival and loud music and great pomp and display.
Not so with Jesus.
He comes as a servant.
He comes in humility.
You want to know what else is interesting about this?
In the days of Jesus, a king or general would ride in like I just described, but long, long ago (well before Jesus), that wasn’t always the case.
Back when the great King David was making the transition to his son Solomon…guess what his son rode in on?
A humble mule.
You can read about in 1 Kings chapter 1.
And now Jesus, who is often called “The Son of David,” rides in on donkey.
And it couldn’t have looked more different in those days.
Nowadays, young boys dream about winning a world series, but in the days of Jesus and the Roman Empire…many Roman boys would have dreamed about getting their own Roman Triumph.
If you were a successful Roman Military Commander, Rome would hold you your own outlandish “Roman Triumph”
Where you would wear a crown or laurel, wear a purple & gold-embroidered toga.
You would ride in a 4-horse chariot, through the streets of Rome with your army, captives, and spoils of war…and the people would cheer your name.
Are you starting to see how Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry” looks very different?
It says a lot about the type of Kingdom that Jesus is setting up.
His kingdom is going to be established through love…through service…through humility…through a “serving under”…not a “power over.”
Almost every other kingdom that’s ever been established in world history…happens through a “power over”
Someone…or some government…or some king…or some politician, tries to get “power over”…
This is one thing I’ve really noticed through traveling to Haiti and to Africa.
So much of the world’s kingdoms are built through “power over”
Through bloody revolutions…or corrupt politicians.
And when people get power…they’ll do anything to hold on to it.
When I was flying home from Africa, the lady sitting next to me was from New York and had done a ton of work in Africa…
She told me about the Sudanese billionaire who offers to pay Five Million Dollars to the leader of any African country who actually steps down when his term limit is up.
So far…he’s rarely ever had to pay up.
But Jesus establishes and maintains his power in such a different way…
He comes through “serving under”
He comes in love
He comes to teach
He comes on a donkey
He establishes His kingdom not through killing others…but by his own death.
He’s the servant King.
And for now…he rides on a donkey.
But beware…later…he will ride on a horse.
THE SAVIOR KING
Jesus is also the Savior King
(put up SAVIOR KING on Screen)
He’s not just the Divine King. He’s not just the Servant King. He’s the Savior King.
I mentioned earlier that Jesus is entering Jerusalem on Passover week.
This is also symbolic.
I did a message on this last December in our echoes series about how Jesus’ death on the cross is an echo of the original Passover story.
A story where the Israelites sacrificed lambs, and put the blood of the lamb on their doorframes…
And the blood of the lamb saved them from the coming wrath…which was the 10th plague that ended up killing the firstborn sons of the Egyptians.
And because of that…the Israelites were eventually freed from the bondage of slavery.
Jesus’ timing on Passover is going to be a significant indicator of just what kind of King he is.
But the fact that he’s a Savior King is embedded in our passage as well.
Look at verse 9 for a third time…this passage is SO rich!
(Matthew 21:9) – NIV
9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Do you know what this is? When the crowds shout Hosanna to the Son of David? What does that mean?
Well, Son of David, as we said, is a title for the Messiah.
Because the Messiah was going to be a descendent of King David.
But what does Hosanna mean?
It was a Jewish phrase that came from combining two Hebrew words in Psalm 118
(Psalm 118:25) – NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success.
I’m using the New Living Translation here, because the NIV, very oddly leaves out the world please and replaces it with an exclamation point.
But the please is important.
The Hebrew word “yasha” (which is save) and “anna” (which is please), form together to make yasha-anna…or in English…Hosanna.
Which literally means, “Please save!”
Or “Lord, please save us”
So when you sing the worship song Hosanna, that’s what you’re singing:
“God, save us! You’re the King…you can save us!”
And that’s what the people are saying when Jesus is riding into Jerusalem.
When they say, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they’re saying, “Messiah, please save us!”
And they even lay down palm branches and their coats for this coming Savior King.
But perhaps many of them thought he would save them from Roman oppression.
But remember, he’s not JUST the Savior King.
He’s the servant King as well. He’s the Divine King.
If He just physically liberates them from Roman oppression, he does nothing with their real slavery.
And it’s the same in our lives.
We often look down at the Jews for missing why Jesus came, but we often mistakenly think He came for the same reason.
Listen, Jesus isn’t in your life just to help you with some felt need physical reality.
He’s not there just to help you pay your house payment, or get a job.
He’s not there just to help you get a boyfriend or help you feel happy again.
He’s the SAVIOR King.
And your real slavery is sin.
It’s slavery on the path to spiritual death.
Jesus can save you from your sin.
It’s why He died for you.
Believing that he took the punishment for you and giving your life to Him is the only way to be free and forgiven.
You can not do it on your own.
And even if you are already a Christian…this still rings true.
Don’t forget his ability to deliver you from sin.
SO often, we get sucked into this ritualistic way of dealing with Jesus…where all we do is ask him for stuff like he’s some sort of cosmic vending machine.
“When the greatest thing He did for you is still the greatest thing he can do for you.
He can help you overcome sin.
He’s the Savior King.
THE COMING KING
But he’s not just the Divine King..
He’s not just the Servant King…
He’s not just the Savior King…
He’s the Coming King.
(put up “The Coming King” on the screen)
And here’s where the Biblical imagery gets really interesting.
Right now we are in an incredible time of history.
Jesus, God’s son has come to earth…and freely offered salvation as a gift to all of humankind.
He comes to you, humbly, as a servant…dying in your place even…and offers you His love and forgiveness.
All you need to do is believe and surrender your life to Him.
And He will come into your life, radically change it, and grant you eternity in heaven and not in hell.
It’s an amazing time in human history.
But one day…that door will close.
One day…the king won’t be riding on a donkey anymore…a symbol of peace…one day…that will all end.
Look at Revelation 19 with me…the last book of the Bible…which describes Jesus’ role in the end of the world.
(Revelation 19:11-16) – NIV
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.
Someday…this amazing period of human history will be over.
And it’ll be too late to switch sides.
Jesus will no longer be riding on a donkey…but on a white, war-horse…administering justice to a fallen world.
Follow Him now…with all your heart…while you still can.
This is a wonderful God who loves you very much.
He was willing to die in your place!
But there are no second chances once life is over.
Jesus is the Divine King...the fact that you’re even here today hearing this means something.
Because someday the end will come.
Or someday…our end will come.
Surrender to the King. He is Good!
But there is only one King.
And it is not us.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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